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Thread: Deshka Landing Survey Results!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Willow, Alaska

    Lightbulb Deshka Landing Survey Results!

    Thanks to the 52 people that answered this survey. I presented it to the board on Feb. 18th. We discussed some of the responses, and it helped to guide us in some decisions that we are making. We will soon be mapping out a 2,5, and 10 year plan for the Association. We know that there are some areas that need to be a priority, while other items can be considered for a later date. I have tried to be honest in representing the best answers. I have not included all the comments if they have been repeated, or don't apply.

    1. How often do you use Deshka Landing?
    Percentage represents the highest number of respondents to each questions.
    King Season Weekly 38.3%
    Silver Season Weekly 63.6%
    Other Fishing Only Weekdays 42.9%
    Entire Summer Weekly 50%
    Winter Only Weekends 58.3%

    There were 15 responsers that included comments.

    2. Please rate the following based on how important these items are to you.
    Percentage represents the highest number of respondents to each questions.

    General Store Somewhat Important 32%
    Friendly Staff Extremely Important 59.6%
    Recreational Pass Cost Extremely Important 65.4%
    Launch Ramp Conditions Extrememly Important 64.7%
    Parking Lot Shuttle Not Important At All 32%
    Sell Fishing Licenses in Store Neutral 40.8%
    24-Hour Access Extremely Important 70.6%
    24-Hour Gas Extrememly Important 41.2%
    Indoor Flush Bathrooms Neutral 31.4%
    Parking Lot Lights Somewhat Important 30%
    Weather Station on Website Neutral 29.4%
    Charter Listed on Website Not Important At All 42.9%
    Parking Lot Conditions Somewhat Important 56.9%

    Here are a few of the comments: My Responses are in Red.

    The biggest problem in the past is the long line at the ramp. Most of that is from people farting around at the launch. You had somebody there helping people hook-up 2 or 3 years ago. Did this speed things up? You would only need that during the most peak times. Maybe 2-3 weekends. How about Susitna river water levels on your web sight? This is a big deal when planning where to go and with what boat. The big 23ft inboard or the 17 ft outboard.
    I feel this is an issue with the users more than the facility. However, we are looking into having a porter/utility staff to assist in traffic at the launch during the morning and the busiest days. We will be expanding the information available on the Summer section of the website. We will try to put as much information as possible that users can get value from.

    the auto gate is great helps when leaving early or late. really appreciate a safe place to leave truck and or boat! a parking shuttle for us old farts would be good.
    A shuttle has been debated about. If we could combine it with the porter position, and make it economically feasible we would do it.

    Outhouses in the parking areas as well as down by the launch.
    I can't see why we can't place an outhouse at the second light pole. Great suggestion. Also, we have contracted to have a different service this summer, so we hope that conditions will improve in that area.

    potable water, i am just blown away that you do not have fresh drinking water on site.. some of us spend more than a week camped on the rivers, and cant haul in enough, so need a place to fill water juggs..
    Long story about the reason behind this. Potable water may become a reality in 2010 after we accomplish our Capital Improvement project of having indoor public use restrooms. Water will be available for purchase in gallon jugs from our store this summer.

    Designated parking areas with clear lines so space can be used efficiently. The electronic gate is nice but you could have made it easier to get your boat out. The pylons can get a little close
    We agree, we just have to figure out the best way to be able to set up the lot for summer and winter to assist in plowing, as well as drainage. Also, the gate island is awkward, and unfortunately it is what it is right now. We will look at it this summer to see if there is anyway to adjust the approach to make it more user friendly.

    Good quality coffee available in thermos size quantities at all times of the day along with picnic munchies would be a great thing. A public phone or boosted signal for cell phones so use at the gate would be even better.
    You will hopefully be impressed by our expanded store offereing that is finally coming together. The coffee challenge comes from our lack of potable water in our building, as well as the actual usage of coffee. You will find a new coffee maker this summer that should help produce more coffee. It won't be for free, but it will cost enough to cover all the costs involved. There is a cell phone tower that you pass about a quarter mile on your way into the Landing. Our MTA wireless, and my AT&T wireless perform just fine here.

    Cost is the biggie and conditions of the launch area (that's why you're there right - launch a boat?) The rest of the items are nice (my wife enjoys flush toilets!), but really the fluff just increases the cost. Unless you've got competition forcing the ammenities I would just as soon see a cheaper bare bones launch facility. Security of the parking lot - summer and winter is very important and missing from the survey.
    I hope everyone will enjoy the work that was done in October last Fall to imrpove th ramp and removal of some old timbers. There is still some work to do this Spring. We are also expecting to attempt to expand the ramp to the dike wall, but permits need to be worked on and this project would be attempted in the Fall. Also, a committee will be established in the next month to work the feasibility of a permanent low water level launch. This May we have a new upgraded camera security system installed.

    the parking lot needs dust control
    In the past they have put down Calcium Cloride, but unfortunately with the sand and amount of rain, it gets washed away faster than it should. We are looking at ways to lessen the dust. This will be an ongoing project to come up with the best solution that is economically feasible.

    a little wider tackle supply
    We will do our best to supply the basics, but we don't intend to have a selection that matches Three Rivers or Sportsman Warehouse. We don't want to tie up too much money in inventory that we may only sell 1 or 2 of season, but need to buy a pack of 12 from the distributor.

    Local knowledge of river/ice/trail conditions as well as the fishing conditions. We call to ask how things are and do not want to hear "I don't know". You have everyone coming thru to drop off thier parking receipts, ASK them some Q's so you are able to pass this info along. Your updates on this webste (AOD) are excellent, keep it up. Maybe a fishing report during the summer...
    Please understand that some people coming through don't give specific information. We try our best, but we don't want to pass on too much general information that people have told us. It would be great if some of our best users volunteered to give us timely reports regularly. The website will continue to improve, and hopefully have a bunch of good fishing information on it.

    Safe launching - No falling timbers - Possibly lighting for early and late launching - water deep enough to float a normal use boat for the area.
    The launch has been improved, still some more work to do down there. We should've installed a light pole near the ramp when the other poles were installed last year. This idea has been brought up, and will be considered for a Capital Improvement in the near future. The depth of the water is dependent on Mother Nature. We dredge in the Fall when the water is at an acceptable depth for the equipment that is used.

    It would be nice if there was a shuttle from the landing to Moose/Kroto Creek. Also a lower launch fee for canoes that are only recovering their boat at the launch.
    You can always contact one of our business partners that barge to help get you to where you want to go. Good suggestion on the canoes/non-motorized vessels. I will bring it to the attention of the Fee Committee to discuss.

    3. What do you feel is a fair rate to pay for a launch and one day of parking?
    The most important part of this issue is to really understand that this business has to be fiscally solvent. We would all love to launch for free or $5.00, but that is not realistic. If we charged $5 or $10 we wouldn't be open very long.
    Responses ranged from $5-$30 for launching and parking.
    We are not subsidized by the state, so all of the user fees are used to keep the place operating during the thin months, as well as planning for the thin years. As of late, there have been some Capital Improvement projects completed (24-Hour Access Gate, 24-Hour Fuel Pump, New Concrete Ramp at Launch, Lights in Parking Lot, Fencing). In 2009 we will be working on possibly expanding the ramp to accomadate another lane, and indoor heated bathrooms. These projects are paid for by your user dollars.
    User fees have barely changed over the past 10 years, yet expenses have increased. Check out our new fees rates by going to our webpage to download the rate flyer. The link is on the main page in the Annoucements.

    4. What are some specific suggestions for improvement here?

    Maybe a frequent users card (one free launch and park every 5 visits), annual passes are great but with the potential of the river being shutdown during King season, it is probably not justifiable this year. I know this is beyond your control, but a lot of us bought passes last year and fished a fraction of the days compared to other years. You have a great landing and staff. Hope thing work out well this year.
    You must be reading our minds. The Fee Committee established a new Prepaid Launch Card, which will be available starting in April. Summer Card- Buy 8 Launches, get one FREE! (only covers launch and first 24 hours parking) $200, Winter Card- Buy 9 Launches, get on Free (only covers launch and first 24hours parking) $90

    keep up the good work!

    The launch needs some big improvements. Its one of the reasons I try to avoid the landing when I can. To shallow, to many people using and wrong lanes, and not enough parking are just a few.
    We have started the improvements, you should visit this year to see the progress. Mother Nature makes the challenges to launching in the river. We only dredge at the end of the season. We are attempting to have a Porter/ramp utility to assist down there.

    Paving to eliminate sand; camping area; larger launch to permit launching 4 boats; another dock to handle the increase.
    I don't think paving is the answer due to sand/dirt we have, not to mention to enormous cost, we are looking for alternatives. Camping area improvements hopefully will be completed this summer. Larger launch in the process of plans and permitting.

    Better security. Put up fences and make more patrols around the equipment.
    Improved camera security will be installed in May. As time permits, patrols will be completed. A portion of the fence remains intact.

    Not many - its a pretty well run ramp - maybe a shuttle on busy days to get people from thier cars to thier boats. Also - having a person at the launch to deal with your boat to get it off the trailer and onto shore if you are with someone that can't drive, back down a ramp or run a boat - as is the case everytime I launch there - then people get upset becuase you have to do it all.
    Hopefully with the porter/ramp utility position we can help out with this.

    Drop the prices a bit. Susitna Launch is further up river but if prices continue to rise then using the extra fuel might be worth the longer trip.
    Please note that for this summer we have adjusted our pricing structure. There will be a rate of $25 for launch and first 24 hours parking. Additional days of parking will be $8 a day. As a one day user, you would be paying $2 less than the 2008 rate.

    better updated fishing and weather information
    We are looking into having a weather station at the office, which will be accessible on the internet. More improvements for fishing information to come.

    On busy weekends/holidays,have a couple of people to help guide people unloading and loading boats
    We will see what we can do!

    good operation from what I see - just expensive for me personally

    ramp attendants on the busy weekends mostly during king season

    An escalator from the lauch to the parking lot. Just kidding. You guys do a good job. The only thing that keeps me away on some weekends is the price to launch a boat. That gets really spendy during king season
    Just imagine how much the rates would be if we installed the escalator! Ha!

    Heated bathrooms would be great! Also, get the popcorn machine and hot cocoa back in the office. It's a nice touch after snowmachining out in the cold all day.
    Heated bathrooms on their way, hopefully this summer we will begin the project. No popcorn for the time being. Coffee will be available on the weekends in Winter and the Mornings in the summer once the new machine comes in.

    Provide a better surface on the ramp portion of the low water launch. I see lots of trucks bog down because tires can't get a good grip when pulling boats out.
    This is being addressed by a newly formed Committee.

    Make sure the main luanch is deep enough all season.
    This is not possible because of the way that the river works, as well as when the dredging has to be completed. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature in this respect.

    You should have decent parking for overnighters. Charge extra for camping and sewer (if you can provide) and electrical hookups. $15-20 per night depending on the quality of the sites.
    We hope to improve our options in this area this summer.

    Pricing, with the increase in fuel cost and slow fishing conditions I think the DLOA are pricing themselves out of a larger percentage of buisiness. I have my wife drop me off and come back a week- ten days later because it is cheaper than leaving the truck at the landing.
    That is a great way to control your costs. If others followed you then we would have more parking available for those going out on shorter trips. The launching fee is good for unlimited launches and retrieval of your boat for a 24 hour period. So if you launch on the 1st, then come back on the 8th your total cost this summer would be $73 if you parked here. If you chose to only launch your boat and not park here, then came back after 24 hours (in your case days later) to retrieve your boat the cost would be $50 total.

    Email me at if you have any other comments or suggestions.
    Last edited by Icebear; 02-25-2009 at 22:20. Reason: Not permitted without paid advertising to this site. - SORRY!
    (907) 495-3374 WWW.DESHKALANDING.COM

  2. #2
    Member skybust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I have gotten a summer pass for 5 years now and for the most part have been happy with the landing. But maybe Im missing something seems to me you are giving the people who dont get a season pass a break $2 less this year but those of us who are getting a season pass the cost went up $50. There should be something for people who give you there business by getting a season pass year after year.

  3. #3
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    no complaints here except for the annual pass price increase...

    I've launched no less than 3 times a week from May through Sept the last 2 years so the pass certainly paid off for me...

    This year it will be:
    $25/day equals 18 day trips to break even
    $41/weekend (Fri-Sun) equals 11 weekends to break even

    That's quite a bit more than a lot of folks use the launch
    This year I won't be buying a pass so won't be using the launch nearly as much...I understand that expenses have been rising so am not surprised with the increase...

    I'll probably look into the punch card deal though..

    I am curious how many others won't be getting passes this year as well...
    pull my finger....

  4. #4
    Member preed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Wasilla, Alaska


    hmmm cost goin up, people not going as much, wont be as crowded, membership has its privledges!

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by preed View Post
    hmmm cost goin up, people not going as much, wont be as crowded, membership has its privledges!
    With the dismal predictions on the fish runs, bait restrictions and potential emergency closures, it could very well end like it was in the good ole' days. Perhaps the best is yet to come, eh?

    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~


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